hyper_critical

Out of Nowhere, Like a Freight Train

15 posts in this topic

To the only people who understand,

 

STRONG impulse to call my psych today and ask to try getting back on Adderall. He brought up the possibility at our last meeting as we're getting close to exhausting all non-stimulant solutions to helping cope with my ADD.

 

I'm sick of AA and am going to lay this all out to my sponsor tomorrow night (I don't expect him to cosign anything). The alternate theory I've been kicking around since I got sober is something along the lines of "You're not really an addict, but these people can help you for now. You've got some emotional issues from way before you started using that were amplified when you got hooked on Adderall after a pretty rough series of events. Give it a couple years, then re-evaluate from there."

 

I've pretty much been craving free since I got off it two years ago. Attention issues are now seriously starting to build up and affect my life. Therapists are making the same suggestions I've heard over and over but haven't been able to make stick in my own life with any consistency. I'm exhausted from trying. If I get another CBT workbook or therapist suggesting we need to root out the emotional issues underlying my ADD or try this plan or that strategy for organizing my life, I'm going to throw said workbook or therapist out the window.

 

I am nearly overwhelmed all of the sudden by feelings of hopelessness and an expectation (and, an increasingly substantive track record) of following in the footsteps of many/most people with ADD who end up self-sabotaging or under-performing over the course of their lifetimes.

 

I've got a great job and am operating on a high level cognitively, but I straight up cannot keep my life organized. Like, not even close. The only two solutions to that in the past have been a seriously co-dependent relationship with my college girlfriend and...Adderall.

 

Out of nowhere. Like a freight train.

 

Please help.

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Hyper,

 

Did you ever make a list of all the consequences from adderall use?  You need to get that out and re-evaluate what your life used to be like abusing speed.  I don't quite know your story, but you are most likely only remembering the benefits of adderall.  The grass is not always greener on the other side though.  Like for myself specifically, I think back to the racing heart, panic attacks, sleepless nights, chain smoking, drinking/drugs (3x as much as my body could even handle), paranoia, sketchy friends, black outs, staying up for days at a time, strained relationships, everyone in my life knowing there is something severly wrong with me, car crash, ER 2x, psych ward, and all kinds of other stuff.  Is it really worth it?  You are going to throw your body back into an insanely unhealthy addictive lifestyle all over again and once you are back on it feel the guilt and sadness from turning back. Eventually, it will all come to a head and you'll have to try and break this addiction again. 

 

Can you just cut back some of the stress in your life?  Slow down?   You don't have to be perfect.  You don't have to be superman.  You can be happy without driving yourself into the deep end of oblivion all over again.  ADD is a blessing.  It's not a curse and you don't have to take speed.  Focus on the good aspects of having ADD.  You are bright, innovative, have a race car engine for a brain!  So much good can come out of your ADD.  Don't give up now.  You've come too far.  Don't throw your life and health away on some nasty drug concocted by money hungry pharmeceutical companies.  Not worth it.  Stick on the path of recovery.  Keep moving forward.  If I can do this, I know you can too.  Don't throw in the towel yet.  We need people like you here to help others.  :)  Just don't quit.  That's all you have to do.  This path is easier and will bring not cause you any harm.  It is safe. You got this. 

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Don't go back!  I am only 9 months clean, but I had to have a crutch.  So, I took up a hobby.  Art.  I found that on days when I didn't feel like doing anything at all, I could at least draw and shade.  I have heard others mention meditation, and I use zentangle as my meditation.  Drawing patterns, over and over and over...very calming.  I wish I could give you some words of wisdom, but I can only encourage you to stay the course.  YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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Addiction: the belief that you need a chemical substance to compensate for a personal weakness or lack of skill.

This is your addiction talking. Push past it. Give it a few weeks and you'll probably feel fine again and silly at the same time because a few weeks ago you thought it was the end of the world.

For what it's worth, at 3 years I am doing much better than 2 years. MUCH better. I am finally living a life free of fear and suspicion. Hell no you do not want to go through this shit all over again. Your 'alternative theory' is addict thinking, plain and simple. It boils down to the fantasy 'It will be different this time.' Recognize this. Reread all of your posts, in chronological order. You went to rehab for God's sake.

If you're exhausted from trying, stop trying for awhile. Live your life without self improvement as a goal. Or just focus on doing one thing, like making a short to do list every morning. Maybe you can elaborate on what you mean by "can't keep my life organized" and we can offer more suggestions :)

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Some really great posts from the advanced members.    Punch your shrink in the face for recommending Adderall.  Karate chop to larynx and finish it off with a DTD.   Seriously after everything you have been through why would that even be a topic for conversation.  

 

I know exactly how you feel. I am mentally foggy often, and I am no where close to being on top of everything I need to be on top of.  

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Slow down. Take a breath. Smell a flower. Drink a cup of yummy coffee. It seems like you just need to chill and relax for a little.


 


Take it one day at a time. 


 


That is the only way for me. For everything, for NOT just not-taking-adderall and not drinking but for eating healthy and exercising, my job, my Etsy shop, my relationship, my life… I do it ALL one day at a time. One step at a time. One breath at a time. I take everything one day at a time or I will get too overwhelmed and fail or binge or quit. You have been so strong and come so far, just hang in there. Don't let rash decisions get the best of you or ruin your recovery/healing process and how far you've come.


 


It's easy to say "I just want to start adderall again and everything will go back to how it was before" but no, that's not true. Adderall isn't the answer nor is it a quick fix and it doesn't come for free. It's like selling your soul to the devil. It isn't going to make anything or life better. I want to lose weight and of course, I can just get on Adderall again and lose it fast as shit but I'm not going to do that. I feel too damn good without it and I'm not letting a pill control my life or have that control over me anymore. It isn't going to make all your prayers answered. I agree with all the posts above. Just relax and rest. Take it one day at a time.


 


And sometimes things are a certain way because of how you look at them and your attitude. Try to think and stay positive, have hopeful thoughts of the future, think of exciting events coming up, you're looking forward too. Just try to find the good in life and in your life, it's easy to focus on the shitty. People all the time are too busy thinking about what they want, they miss out on and don't appreciate what they do have.


 


You say your in therapy, have you tried cognitive therapy? I have heard amazing things about it.


 


And a few months ago, I really did sound and feel exactly how you do and your post and I was this close to getting back on Adderall because I was pissed I still haven't lost weight and I'm tired all the time and unorganized and blah and I even just did a sleep study because I really thought something was wrong with me. Now I feel great and have more energy, I've started working out 30min a day and eating clean and I'm losing weight as well! I feel so much better, I have more energy and focus, maybe try working out, if you don't already! Just a suggestion!


 


We are here for you and we hope you pull through, just stay strong!


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I don't know your situation so I won't pretend.  All I can say is that I think it's amazing you have been able to stay away from it for almost two years now (from looking at your ticker).  As it has already been said above, it would be such a shame to throw all that away!

Edit:  One thought that just occured to me....   I am horrified whenever I read the Calvin and Hobbes comic on this site, for obvious reasons. 

The sad reality is that outcome (just getting hyper focused on productivity and literally ignoring everything good and pure in life) is the BEST possible outcome.  I don't know about you, but whenever I take those pills I feel like I experience the WORST possible outcome (taking more and more compulsively, binging and spending time doing things that absolutely horrify my true self).
 

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Unreal feedback. Thank you all for taking the time to respond.

 

Between my brother, sponsor, and you guys, I already feel quite silly about what I wrote this morning, but some version of that had been building in my head for weeks now and I had to get it out.

 

I guess I've been really lucky so far...that was my first true craving in almost two years. Things are on the brink of going really well and some part of me thinks I'm incapable of sustaining it on my own.

 

I don't have a great "recovery" job...if I'm not careful, it's pretty easy to lose perspective. Maybe I'll end up doing something else down the line, but for now, I just need to make sure staying sober continues to come first.

 

Adderall nearly killed me towards the end, and I know it'll finish the job if I give it the chance.

 

This has been a tough couple days, but I'm going to get through it and am sure significant growth is just around the corner.

 

Thanks again, everyone.

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Hyper,

 

Did you ever make a list of all the consequences from adderall use?  You need to get that out and re-evaluate what your life used to be like abusing speed.  I don't quite know your story, but you are most likely only remembering the benefits of adderall.  The grass is not always greener on the other side though.  Like for myself specifically, I think back to the racing heart, panic attacks, sleepless nights, chain smoking, drinking/drugs (3x as much as my body could even handle), paranoia, sketchy friends, black outs, staying up for days at a time, strained relationships, everyone in my life knowing there is something severly wrong with me, car crash, ER 2x, psych ward, and all kinds of other stuff.  Is it really worth it?  You are going to throw your body back into an insanely unhealthy addictive lifestyle all over again and once you are back on it feel the guilt and sadness from turning back. Eventually, it will all come to a head and you'll have to try and break this addiction again. 

 

Can you just cut back some of the stress in your life?  Slow down?   You don't have to be perfect.  You don't have to be superman.  You can be happy without driving yourself into the deep end of oblivion all over again.  ADD is a blessing.  It's not a curse and you don't have to take speed.  Focus on the good aspects of having ADD.  You are bright, innovative, have a race car engine for a brain!  So much good can come out of your ADD.  Don't give up now.  You've come too far.  Don't throw your life and health away on some nasty drug concocted by money hungry pharmeceutical companies.  Not worth it.  Stick on the path of recovery.  Keep moving forward.  If I can do this, I know you can too.  Don't throw in the towel yet.  We need people like you here to help others.  :)  Just don't quit.  That's all you have to do.  This path is easier and will bring not cause you any harm.  It is safe. You got this. 

 

^^What LilTex said.

 

 

It's important not to confuse your real self with your addict mind.   Your addict mind is talking (screaming) right now.  But it's not you!

 

It sounds like you're really struggling with staying on top of work and organization.   I totally relate.  And these thoughts come through my head, too.   I get frustrated and stressed out when I start falling off the ball.

 

But it also sounds like you might be trying too hard to fit yourself into a mold that isn't for you.

 

"A.D.D." is a huge lie in my opinion.  For one thing, at the very least, it is NOT a "disorder."  Even that word is stigmatizing.  Don't let anyone tell you that there's something wrong with you, because there isn't.   

 

I am SO GLAD I have the scattered, creative, "ADD" brain that I have.  I see people with micro-managing, OCD, anal retentive tendencies, and I don't envy them.  No matter how much more 'efficient' they may appear.

 

There are many forms of intelligence.  But multiple intelligence theory has a long ways to go in terms of recognizing things like "A.D.D." as forms of intelligence, too.   (Same goes for social anxiety "disorders," which a new study just showed are correlated with high levels of empathy.  Why do they call these things "disorders?"  Because by convincing people there's something wrong with them, the pharmaceuticals, psychiatrists, etc. can make more money!)

 

Instead of trying to fit into someone else's mold, it's time to get creative.  You just have to capitalize on your unique intelligence while managing for your "ADD" type tendencies.  Create your own life!  Choose the work strategies and systems that work for your personality.  

 

I've made some progress in coming up with systems that help me in areas of life where "ADD" is a struggle.

 

So for example,  I have a LOT of trouble staying organized.   So my stay-organized system is this: Everything has a home.   But don't force things into homes where they don't want to live!   So I don't force myself to use a key hook because I know it won't work.  My keys live where my disorganized brain tends to put them: in my coat pocket and/or thrown on the table right next to my front door.   Or another example:  I'm pretty cluttered and I have lots of clothing piles everywhere.  So instead of trying to force myself to fold laundry and iron and stuff, I just embrace the "pile system."  One laundry basket for semi-clean clothes that can be worn again, one for dirty stuff, and one for clean laundry I'm too lazy to put away just yet. :D

 

And with the forgetfulness.  I write things down, and I ask people to email me reminders when I know I'm likely to forget.  I make fun of myself, because it's not a bad thing, it's just my personality.   When I get an email, I respond to it immediately or else I'll forget.  When I find out about an important event or meeting, I put it on my phone immediately with a reminder one day in advance, and one hour in advance.   For my important bills, I am on auto-payments.  They mess up sometimes, but they mess up less frequently than I do.

 

And when it comes to work, it happens in short spurts.  With breaks.  Lots of breaks.  Moving around and doing stuff, changing the scenery.  I have bad insomnia and often sleep in multiple "shifts," so I'm learning to think of my day in terms of work "shifts," too.  It's a challenge to learn and practice the discipline to actually spend all the time necessary, but I'm starting to remember that I'd rather do something productive than waste my time.

 

I have trouble finishing projects, and I often have multiple projects going at once.  I want to learn to use this to my advantage.  Maybe I just need to keep it mixed up!   Opportunities, not impairments.   A little at a time.

 

And boundaries for yourself.  Be careful with your time and with what you do with your mind.  We live in a world full of distractions like fakebook that make ADD worse.  Instead of going to sites like that, I try to just go directly to doing some work.  If I'm bored enough to go to my news feed, then I'm bored enough to do a little work, just 5 minutes' worth.  Other boundaries are things like: no internet before work, no more than 2-3 drinks per week, show up 10 minutes early because otherwise I'll be 10 minutes late.  Knowing yourself can help you set the right systems and boundaries to manage for your own tendencies, and then your "ADD" creativity can really flow :)

 

These are just some strategies I've been figuring out over time.   Because if I ever had to take and/or quit adderall again, I honestly don't think I would survive.   And if I did, I know that my career, relationship, and psyche itself would not survive.  

 

Just take the adderall option off the table.  What it really means is the death of your real self.  

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^^What LilTex said.

 

 

It's important not to confuse your real self with your addict mind.   Your addict mind is talking (screaming) right now.  But it's not you!

 

It sounds like you're really struggling with staying on top of work and organization.   I totally relate.  And these thoughts come through my head, too.   I get frustrated and stressed out when I start falling off the ball.

 

But it also sounds like you might be trying too hard to fit yourself into a mold that isn't for you.

 

"A.D.D." is a huge lie in my opinion.  For one thing, at the very least, it is NOT a "disorder."  Even that word is stigmatizing.  Don't let anyone tell you that there's something wrong with you, because there isn't.   

 

I am SO GLAD I have the scattered, creative, "ADD" brain that I have.  I see people with micro-managing, OCD, anal retentive tendencies, and I don't envy them.  No matter how much more 'efficient' they may appear.

 

There are many forms of intelligence.  But multiple intelligence theory has a long ways to go in terms of recognizing things like "A.D.D." as forms of intelligence, too.   (Same goes for social anxiety "disorders," which a new study just showed are correlated with high levels of empathy.  Why do they call these things "disorders?"  Because by convincing people there's something wrong with them, the pharmaceuticals, psychiatrists, etc. can make more money!)

 

Instead of trying to fit into someone else's mold, it's time to get creative.  You just have to capitalize on your unique intelligence while managing for your "ADD" type tendencies.  Create your own life!  Choose the work strategies and systems that work for your personality.  

 

I've made some progress in coming up with systems that help me in areas of life where "ADD" is a struggle.

 

So for example,  I have a LOT of trouble staying organized.   So my stay-organized system is this: Everything has a home.   But don't force things into homes where they don't want to live!   So I don't force myself to use a key hook because I know it won't work.  My keys live where my disorganized brain tends to put them: in my coat pocket and/or thrown on the table right next to my front door.   Or another example:  I'm pretty cluttered and I have lots of clothing piles everywhere.  So instead of trying to force myself to fold laundry and iron and stuff, I just embrace the "pile system."  One laundry basket for semi-clean clothes that can be worn again, one for dirty stuff, and one for clean laundry I'm too lazy to put away just yet. :D

 

And with the forgetfulness.  I write things down, and I ask people to email me reminders when I know I'm likely to forget.  I make fun of myself, because it's not a bad thing, it's just my personality.   When I get an email, I respond to it immediately or else I'll forget.  When I find out about an important event or meeting, I put it on my phone immediately with a reminder one day in advance, and one hour in advance.   For my important bills, I am on auto-payments.  They mess up sometimes, but they mess up less frequently than I do.

 

And when it comes to work, it happens in short spurts.  With breaks.  Lots of breaks.  Moving around and doing stuff, changing the scenery.  I have bad insomnia and often sleep in multiple "shifts," so I'm learning to think of my day in terms of work "shifts," too.  It's a challenge to learn and practice the discipline to actually spend all the time necessary, but I'm starting to remember that I'd rather do something productive than waste my time.

 

I have trouble finishing projects, and I often have multiple projects going at once.  I want to learn to use this to my advantage.  Maybe I just need to keep it mixed up!   Opportunities, not impairments.   A little at a time.

 

And boundaries for yourself.  Be careful with your time and with what you do with your mind.  We live in a world full of distractions like fakebook that make ADD worse.  Instead of going to sites like that, I try to just go directly to doing some work.  If I'm bored enough to go to my news feed, then I'm bored enough to do a little work, just 5 minutes' worth.  Other boundaries are things like: no internet before work, no more than 2-3 drinks per week, show up 10 minutes early because otherwise I'll be 10 minutes late.  Knowing yourself can help you set the right systems and boundaries to manage for your own tendencies, and then your "ADD" creativity can really flow :)

 

These are just some strategies I've been figuring out over time.   Because if I ever had to take and/or quit adderall again, I honestly don't think I would survive.   And if I did, I know that my career, relationship, and psyche itself would not survive.  

 

Just take the adderall option off the table.  What it really means is the death of your real self.  

 

^^What LilTex said.

 

 

It's important not to confuse your real self with your addict mind.   Your addict mind is talking (screaming) right now.  But it's not you!

 

It sounds like you're really struggling with staying on top of work and organization.   I totally relate.  And these thoughts come through my head, too.   I get frustrated and stressed out when I start falling off the ball.

 

But it also sounds like you might be trying too hard to fit yourself into a mold that isn't for you.

 

"A.D.D." is a huge lie in my opinion.  For one thing, at the very least, it is NOT a "disorder."  Even that word is stigmatizing.  Don't let anyone tell you that there's something wrong with you, because there isn't.   

 

I am SO GLAD I have the scattered, creative, "ADD" brain that I have.  I see people with micro-managing, OCD, anal retentive tendencies, and I don't envy them.  No matter how much more 'efficient' they may appear.

 

There are many forms of intelligence.  But multiple intelligence theory has a long ways to go in terms of recognizing things like "A.D.D." as forms of intelligence, too.   (Same goes for social anxiety "disorders," which a new study just showed are correlated with high levels of empathy.  Why do they call these things "disorders?"  Because by convincing people there's something wrong with them, the pharmaceuticals, psychiatrists, etc. can make more money!)

 

Instead of trying to fit into someone else's mold, it's time to get creative.  You just have to capitalize on your unique intelligence while managing for your "ADD" type tendencies.  Create your own life!  Choose the work strategies and systems that work for your personality.  

 

I've made some progress in coming up with systems that help me in areas of life where "ADD" is a struggle.

 

So for example,  I have a LOT of trouble staying organized.   So my stay-organized system is this: Everything has a home.   But don't force things into homes where they don't want to live!   So I don't force myself to use a key hook because I know it won't work.  My keys live where my disorganized brain tends to put them: in my coat pocket and/or thrown on the table right next to my front door.   Or another example:  I'm pretty cluttered and I have lots of clothing piles everywhere.  So instead of trying to force myself to fold laundry and iron and stuff, I just embrace the "pile system."  One laundry basket for semi-clean clothes that can be worn again, one for dirty stuff, and one for clean laundry I'm too lazy to put away just yet. :D

 

And with the forgetfulness.  I write things down, and I ask people to email me reminders when I know I'm likely to forget.  I make fun of myself, because it's not a bad thing, it's just my personality.   When I get an email, I respond to it immediately or else I'll forget.  When I find out about an important event or meeting, I put it on my phone immediately with a reminder one day in advance, and one hour in advance.   For my important bills, I am on auto-payments.  They mess up sometimes, but they mess up less frequently than I do.

 

And when it comes to work, it happens in short spurts.  With breaks.  Lots of breaks.  Moving around and doing stuff, changing the scenery.  I have bad insomnia and often sleep in multiple "shifts," so I'm learning to think of my day in terms of work "shifts," too.  It's a challenge to learn and practice the discipline to actually spend all the time necessary, but I'm starting to remember that I'd rather do something productive than waste my time.

 

I have trouble finishing projects, and I often have multiple projects going at once.  I want to learn to use this to my advantage.  Maybe I just need to keep it mixed up!   Opportunities, not impairments.   A little at a time.

 

And boundaries for yourself.  Be careful with your time and with what you do with your mind.  We live in a world full of distractions like fakebook that make ADD worse.  Instead of going to sites like that, I try to just go directly to doing some work.  If I'm bored enough to go to my news feed, then I'm bored enough to do a little work, just 5 minutes' worth.  Other boundaries are things like: no internet before work, no more than 2-3 drinks per week, show up 10 minutes early because otherwise I'll be 10 minutes late.  Knowing yourself can help you set the right systems and boundaries to manage for your own tendencies, and then your "ADD" creativity can really flow :)

 

These are just some strategies I've been figuring out over time.   Because if I ever had to take and/or quit adderall again, I honestly don't think I would survive.   And if I did, I know that my career, relationship, and psyche itself would not survive.  

 

Just take the adderall option off the table.  What it really means is the death of your real self.  

 

I really like your take on living with ADHD. Just living with it, I've got a little go station a shelf for headphones, change, wallet, keys, cellphone charger) in my front hallway makes a big difference I am still always looking for my keys etc.  

 

My iphone has a wallet style case so i keep my debit card & id with my phone. I have a big wallet with more stuff in it but i usually just need debit.

 

  • Creating an inbox for mail and documents that need to dealt eventually with saved my life. 
  • I'm thinking of hiring a cleaning lady to help me stay on top of things.  Though I can't really afford this right now. 
  • I have a 2nd kitchen table specifically for clutter.
  • I use fiverr for tasks like proof reading a lot. Anything I can delegate I do. 
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Wow. Some serious knowledge and experience shared above. Really grateful for the thoughtful comments, everyone.

 

Kind of exhausted on the other end of this short but intense emotional roller coaster and need to do what I've gotta do to wrap up this week at work. Will spend some more time reflecting on your suggestions over the weekend.

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Hyper,

 

How are you doing?  Are you feeling any better?  I am so glad you posted this!  I recently had thoughts of going back on it too.  They are pretty far and few in between, but sometimes when life throws curve balls at me it's my immediate quick fix.  I will suddenly start thinking, man if I just had some adderall again, all my problems would be solved.  It's a good reminder to come to this site and have the support of all of you when these thoughts pop up.  So thank you for posting because you have helped me as well in the process.  :)

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Hyper Critical,

I see many great replies to your post.  I can't add much more, but getting a "system" of organization does help.  I do the same and I keep lists (paper ones and my google calendar which shows up on my smart phone)  

Hope you are hanging in there or doing better.  Let us know how things are and what changes you have made? Are they working for you?  It may help the next person on this forum.

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All the above feedback is so helpful and I can't really add to it. I needed to read it myself! I just wanted to post to say that I'm right there with you. I've been so tempted to go back on it lately. Mainly because I'm freaking out about weight gain and feeling pretty depressed. I've found it really helpful to "take it one day at a time" and to force myself to take a moment to think back on all the negative side effects.

Hang in there.

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